I’m currently reading “The Power of Less,” by Leo Babauta, the guy behind the ZenHabits.net blog. The book focuses on the benefits of setting limitations on what we do and consume, and focusing on the essential things in life. Right now, I’m reading the chapters on setting limitations.
Examining my own life, while I can’t see many areas where I’m excessive, I could only find one area in which I consciously set limitations, and that’s in the area of diet. I follow the Paleo diet, which avoid sugars and carbohydrates (pastas, breads, grains, beans, etc.), and focus on meats, vegetables, nuts and fruits — basically what the “hunters & gatherers” ate during the Paleo age.
In part due to the Pareto 80/20 principle, and in part due to the suggestion that it helps the metabolism from resetting, I allow myself one day per week to eat anything I want. On that day, I might have Churros con Chocolate for breakfast, paella for lunch, a double ice-cream in the afternoon, and maybe some spicy Jamaican jerk chicken with lots of beer for dinner.
I’ve definitely observed that limiting consumption of sugars and carbs to once per week both amplifies my enjoyment of them, and allows me to enjoy them without any of the detrimental health and weight-gain consequences of their regular consumption. (Particularly interesting is the amplification of enjoyment.)
So on the point of setting limitations, it looks like Leo Babauta may be right on the money.